Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
"As police brass dissect what happened when a stampede of shoppers outside a Valley Stream Wal-Mart left a seasonal worker dead, they may lean on the stores themselves to better plan for events like Black Friday, a Nassau police spokesman said yesterday.
Nassau police say the stampede outside the discount chain store was foreseeable given the huge crowds that gather for post-Thanksgiving sales."
--- Another tragic example of mass stupid. This is not the first time stampeding shoppers have killed and it won't be the last. And for Wal-mart junk?!
Ya know ... sometimes I can understand why the ruling class looks down with such contempt at we the people.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:23 AM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Shu Quan-Sheng ... accused of illegally exporting technical data related to the design and manufacture of a liquid hydrogen tank, and illegally helping foreign operatives design, develop, build and test the tank and fueling systems for a launch facility.
"At no time during this period did Shu have the required licenses or written approvals with respect to brokering, export of defense articles, or proposals to provide defense services to the People's Republic of China," the Department of Justice said.
The complaint alleges that Shu offered bribes to government officials with China's 101 Institute to induce the award of the hydrogen liquefier project to the French company Shu represented. A 2003 agreement with the French company said AMAC International would get 10 percent to 15 percent commission if the deal went off successfully.
To ensure that the French partner got the $4 million liquefier contract and his own company its commission, Shu offered payments to Chinese officials to induce them to choose his partners in France.
USA-SPACE/CHINA:US man admits illegal space data exports to China.
Shu Quan-Sheng, 68, a native of China who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, entered the guilty plea in federal court in Norfolk, Virginia.
Shu is the president, secretary and treasurer of AMAC International, a high-tech company in Newport News, Virginia, that has offices in Beijing.
Shu admitted that from 2003 through October of 2007 he violated the U.S. arms export control law by providing China with assistance in the design and development of a cryogenic fueling system for space launch vehicles. He admitted that in 2003 he violated the same law by exporting to China military technical data from a document about designing and making a liquid hydrogen tank and various pumps, valves, filters and instruments.
Shu also pleaded guilty to offering bribes of nearly $190,000 to Chinese government officials to win the award last year of a $4 million contract for a hydrogen liquefier project for a French company Shu represented, the department said.
---- Shu came to the US in 1990. Mission accomplished?
Posted by Kate-A at 9:35 AM
Sunday, November 16, 2008
One morning, as J. Edgar Hoover "assiduously scoured the newspapers for signs of dissent and subversion, he noticed a report about the latest article written by Norman Mailer for Esquire magazine."
The FBI monitored Mailer's "writings, meetings, speeches, movements, acquaintances and even Christmas card list, posing as a friend, calling up his father and knocking on his door in the guise of deliverymen."
Their reports were than [sic] stamped "CLASSIFIED", "SECRET" and "SUBV. CONTROL", the latter an apparent reference to suspected subversives.
"The fascinating insight into the tactics of Hoover's FBI has been made public in newly-declassified US government files. The documents were released to the Washington Post under a Freedom of Information Act request lodged following the writer's death a year ago. The FBI's first Mailer memo, dated June 29 1962, contained enough incriminatory material to fuel the investigative instincts of Hoover, a fervent anti-Communist and veteran of the post-war "Red Scare" McCarthyite witchhunts. It noted that the writer "admitted being a 'Leftist'" and called the FBI "a secret police organization" that should be abolished. One informant said Mailer was "a concealed Communist", although others disputed that assertion."
----- A couple of things to recognize here. One, the FBI, like so many other Federal employees, waste time and tax dollars performing "look busy" work to justify their inflated salaries and egos, and two, the WaPo getting Mailer's FBI files is not "fascinating insight" into anything. And just to be petty, I know the Brits use spelling variations, but I had to correct their word "assiduously" as it was misspelled in the original article. Do new agencies not have spellcheckers or proofreaders with an eye?
Also, I think it's been a while since I have read Red Scare, McCarthyite, witchhunts, Leftist, secret police, informant, and Communist all within three short sentences. That's to remind you, coming soon, not to be afraid of such labels - it will be the old FBI up to its tricks again.
All I remember of Mailer in his heyday is I couldn't finish any of his material, and feminists at the time referred to Norman as a chauvinist pig. Apparently he had his fans, otherwise how could he become such a noted, award-winning writer. (Son of a well-known connected Jersey Jewish family, Harvard man, etc. had nothing to do with it.)
According to the article above in 1973 Hoover "feared" the release of Mailer's biography about Marilyn Monroe - Norman was accusing the FBI of cover-up in Monroe's overdosing death. Conspiracy surrounding Marilyn's death was a sales market bonanza for at least a decade. Like so many "artists," she was worth much more dead than she ever was alive. She was the prototype, albeit older, for a Spears or Angelina type tabloid queen, of which Mailer attempted to cash in on as so many did at the time, and still do.
Guys like Mailer, Capote (Clutter family) , Schiller (Jon-Benet), etc., with pen in beak, circle like vultures over high-profiles. Schiller, good friend of Mailer, does have some beautiful photography of Marilyn Monroe. (Fortunately, he didn't smear feces on the virgin Mary or stick a bullwhip up her butt and call it art.) Made wealthy, they have convinced the public that "true crime" ragmag writing is an art form. They helped secure an insatiable, vicarious national appetite for sleaze; with marketing to convince us such writings are a study in psychological profiles or investigative reporting, or an educational analysis of social man.
It's high gloss on the style of writing that my junior high teacher kept hidden in his desk drawer - erotic magazine covers showing a busty female in the clutches of a muscled intruder with titles like Real Detective or True Crime. Fetish anyone? Mailer and ilk are the National Enquirer for "educated" folk. As for profiles in psychology - that's all the monkey-see monkey-do American needs - lots of exposure to the perps and victims of the depraved among us.
You really think the FBI believes their own files - or are they laughing at the public faith that FOIA has "information" anywhere in it? They must get their writers from the same muddy-the-water comedy pool the public gets theirs.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:05 AM
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Another article in what has been at least a decade of endless spiels by high profile and unknown shitheads alike, on the wonders and magnificence of living in one of those semi-socialist, "free" healthcare, sex and drug liberated and wealth parity communes known as Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, and other Euro-topias.
THE LADY STATES: In the streets of Oslo, fathers are as likely as mothers to be pushing the pram, and they're just as likely to be picking up their kids from nursery and school as their wives ... It's worth noting that Norway is not the only Nordic nation that is top of the class. Finland is second, Sweden third, while Iceland is fourth. Culture may play a part, but more important is the fact that these countries have created societies – the famed Nordic welfare system – that allow women to be more active in the public sphere, be it in the workplace or in politics ... Coming back to visit Britain I am amazed at how working mothers are increasingly demonized in public debate for daring to combine paid work and childcare. It's like children happen to women but not to men. If it's so terrible to be a parent and go to work at the same time, why aren't men getting the same flak?
----- Hon, a man's flak begins at home.
Quick, I must hide this from the old ball and chain because he mopped floors, cooked meals and raised kids for years and worked - he might think he's been nordicized, or gender pared. (I even convinced him to sit to pee so the bathroom stays cleaner longer.)
What a vapid article. The lady is amazed that women in Britain are publicly demonized for daring to combine work and childcare. And I guess 2 income households are by choice and not an economic necessity in Norway? How many American women would prefer to be stay-at-home moms, baking cookies and wiping baby butts and noses, because daddy brings home plenty of bacon?
But gender equality aside, this article reminds me that for at least a decade or more I have been brainwashed with information praising the wondrous accomplishments of Euro-Nordic semi-socialist nations.
Here is what I notice, (and to my shame once parroted) each time the praise has come from:
A native nordic, blonde person, who lives in a country where the famed nordic welfare system allows women to be more active at work and in politics. Well of course the system is manageable when your nordic nation is little more than a gated white community of 4.5 million, which is still called a Kingdom and more or less uniracial, not to mention heavily dependent on offshore drilling, fishery, and international trade, along with restricted immigration.
The second type of praiser of the nordic welfare system are non-nordic natives who think the US can mimic the system and that the US, with dozens of opposing cultures, religions, ideologies, can all just get along in our kingdom of 300+ million and growing. These praisers are usually white Americans who have vacationed or worked abroad and are gushy about how wonderful it was over there. They are also in that group that voted Obama because they "wanted to be part of history," or what I call the "ox and moron" logic - have you ever witnessed firsthand how dumb oxen can behave? Believe me, the old phrase "dumb as an ox" is true. I've heard some ignorant excuses in my life from those voting for a particular candidate but being "part of history" has to be the dumbest yet.
The third type of famed Nordic welfare pushers are the most devious. They would lead us to believe as soon as we can equalize everyone - gender, race, intellect, income, ideology - we will all live in Valhalla and commune with the Gods. Corruption will disappear, greed will be wiped from human nature, life will be fun on the State playground. Their goal is to supply everyone a crust of bread, a house of straw/mud, and minds that cannot process much of anything beyond cable TV, and they will call it world unity or parity or something warm-fuzzyish.
But yes, for at least a decade it seems I stumble every day on at least one article written in giddy glee on the benefits of a euro-nordic-style welfare socialist state. No one ever explains where the funding for 6 billion earthlings on welfare will come from, but I suppose the corporate kingdom will figure that one out - just as soon as they finish emptying the US coffers to bail us out of yet another crisis.
And then most folks are gonna grasp the true meaning of parity, peon parity.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:41 PM
Friday, November 14, 2008
I'm real tired of hearing Ronald Reagan, a petty third rate political actor trained to read lines, has become the hero of those who consider themselves "real Christian conservatives." Talk about lipstick on a pig.
Even Boy Bush will have spin meisters to put a lot of gloss on his pig and Bush will never be known as the revulsion-inducing putz he is, but as just another president in a long line of American presidents / figureheads. A couple or three presidents are remembered as heroes, but most are simply forgotten in the dustbin of national history. What to think of each president, or not think, will be taught in those textbooks funded by the government and preapproved by those who control our fine institutions of public education.
Reagan was no hero, or affable right-winger. He was more a Boy Bush lite, or perhaps Boy Bush is Reagan on steroids. In any case, those "conservatives" and "Reagan democrats," defenders of beloved Ronnie's memory, are as deluded as any other American political sheep herd.
Reagan practiced and prolonged a mean, petty, murderous vindictiveness toward the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, El Salvador's FMLN, in his weekend war on Grenada to prop up that US colony, etc.
Had John Hinckley been a better shot, I'm certain the US would have had their war on in the Middle East much sooner. Perhaps Reagan was somewhat uncooperative with the powers that be, especially after the anesthesia wore off - that may make him a hero, sort of. On the other hand his role may have been only to set the economic destruction ball rolling. Perhaps Poppy Bush and friends jumped the gun (no pun).
It was Ronnie who praised, applauded, and slobbered over Poland's trade unionist leader Lech Walesa and urged American union "Solidarity" with young Lech - while in Latin America and at home the corporate thugs were busting unions as quickly as possible, by brainwashing Joe the Assembler that his labor costs were too high and the company could not afford his union wage and benefits. Reagan was the ball that started the jobs rolling out and overseas. You see folks, Polish unions were honest, American unions corrupt, Central American unionists were corrupt commies.
Lech Walesa. I remember his mug on the nightly news during the '80s. Car mechanic and shipyard electrician who rose to become president, win a Nobel Peace prize, honorary degree from Harvard ... what ever happened to Lech? Reports say documents came to light in June 2008 alleging Walesa had been a collaborator of the communist secret police, "Bolek", way before the formation of "Solidarity." This suggests a degree of calculation on his part as well as the Polish government, in the context of all the events of the formation of Solidarity and subsequent to it. I gotta wonder, did Babs and Poppy Cia Bush know all this when they were hugging Lech in Warsaw back then.
Although I have limited support for most social programs, Reagan cut such aid not to the bone but to the marrow. He closed mental health facilities dumping tens of thousands on the street - but not to worry - also on his watch the tough on crime folks found a big opportunity in the American prison industry, which would criminalize and privatize the housing of many of the nation's mental incompetents and social misfits.
It was Ron who was adored by the Yuppie generation (young upwardly mobile/urban professionals). Many, if not most, made their money in the fast lane of sales, wheeling and dealing in real estate investment, computers, technology, pharma for the whole family stupefied with cable entertainment, and mad ad men - because the only thing that meant anything was Status. Flaunt it if you got it, fake it 'til you make it. It was the era when I scratched my head and asked "How did Deadbeat Dyrone get a MasterCard with his credit?"
Oops, did you say S&L bailout? Iran Contra? He tripled the deficit? The Ron who never met a defense program he didn't love. Grandpa Ron the Affable. His love of big weapons bred bigger waste and corruption to help us along to where we are today - and now folks pay homage to rouged cheek Paw-Paw Reagan.
The '80s under Reagan was one long decade when the national anthem was Gordon Greko's Greed is Good; doesn't matter how you make it, just make it (it being money).
There was nothing conservative or spiritual about Ronald Reagan.
And, honestly, with all the astrology readings going on under the Nancy administration ... I thought astrology was forbidden to Christians, at least since St. Augustine devoted a section of the City of God to ridicule astrology.
Republicans today piss and moan that "conservatives have turned away from Reagan's brand of conservatism" - that's one of those social programming memes that is supposed to mean something but is actually empty rhetoric for empty heads - because today's political conservatives or liberals are just like and are continuing Reagan's brand: Overspending, corrupt, corporate and/or self-serving policy pushers of a New State, and like Reagan, they too will retire to the ranch when the shit hits the really big fan.
(Although, looking back I think the seriously slow US decline took a firm foothold around 1960.)
Posted by Kate-A at 2:01 PM
Monday, November 10, 2008
Recap of Obama/Biden Universal Voluntary Public Service:
Barack Obama will enable all Americans to serve.
Integrate service into learning.
Invest in the nonprofit sector.
Expand Corporation for National and Community Service.
Engage Retiring Americans in Service on a Large Scale.
Expand Service-Learning in Our Nation's Schools.
Expand YouthBuild Program.
Require 100 Hours of Service in College.
Promote College Serve-Study.
Known in Italy years ago as camicie nere, camisas doradas in Mexico, plínio salgado in Brazil, or blueshirts if a member of the Canadian National Socialist Unity Party. Had the ideas above come from a conservative American political party they would have been immediately designated by the "left" as brownshirts.
When such groups are founded by "progressives/liberals" they are imperiously referred to as America or Community or Job or Peace "corps." These orgs accomplish little to nothing overall yet the funding keeps on coming and coming and growing and growing. But whatever color shirt you wear - most likely it will be made in China (which, if you haven't figured it out by now, has become the political/economic role model for the US).
On another note - the news this a.m. is Obama will likely use executive signing orders to overturn certain Bush policies, such as stem cell research, etc. etc. Now, remember, Bush "ruled by executive order" and according to America's "left" it was dictatorship - but when Obama does the same it will henceforth be known as "setting his stamp" on American policy.
And by the way - Neither Congress nor any administration has ever prohibited private funding of embryonic research. Bush vetoed federal funding of research, federal and funding being the keywords here. That's right folks, the so-called supporters of stemcell research want YOU to provide tax funding for the research. The policy question is not really whether it's morally right or wrong - but who pays - private corporations or federal guvmint funding. And we know how efficient the government is with tax funded enterprises.
Have you taken a close look at Obama's Chief of Staff to be, Rahm Emanuel? Well, for all those on the "left" screaming about BushCo's administration being tied to Zionists - you can't get much closer to zion than with Emanuel.
Emanuel is said to have "mailed a rotten fish to a former coworker after the two parted ways." On the night after the 1996 election, "Emanuel was so angry at the president's (Clinton) enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting 'Dead! ... Dead! ... Dead!' and plunging the knife into the table after every name." His "take-no-prisoners attitude" earned him the nickname "Rahm-bo". People who worked with Emanuel at that time "insist the once hard-charging staffer has mellowed out."
Oh yessiree, we be all mellowed out with Barry's rule.
Excuse me hon, what neck size would you like your free red shirt? Oh, wait, you're so progressive you're giving the shirt off your back to the new administration, in hope of change? Bwaaa hahahahah.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:24 AM
Sunday, November 09, 2008
While many seem to find Obama's "a mutt like me" remark humorous I find it anything but. Barry, is that how you talk in front of your daughters? Not helping the matter was OBH looking down often at his podium notes and following along with his finger.
Supporters claim the mutt remark shows OBH's warm sense of humor, claim it means nothing more than a mixed breed which BHO is, or they claim he was being politically savvy and used the moment to remind white folks that he too had a white mama - his first press conference and he's still reassuring part of the population that he's half white? Obama displayed a kinder and gentler self-contempt moment - and peeple think it's cute.
The remark says to me OBH is uncomfortable with at least one-half of his heritage. He should know there are plenty of others more than happy to use the adjective "mutt."
My advice Barry: Never refer to yourself as a mutt, mongrel, niggah, homeboy, Americoon, Bo-Bo, Bonky, Buckwheat or Burnt Cracker or burr head, etc. even if self-deprecation makes the dumber among us chuckle or guffaw.
The remark shows BHO is unaware of America's southern history where Blacks were referred to as mutts or "mongrels," whether mixed breed or not. Mutt is a derogatory term - not something that should be coming from the mouth of the next "leader of the free world."
If you think past presidents arrived at the White House clueless and/or with a lot of unresolved psychological baggage - you ain't seen nothing yet.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:27 AM
Friday, November 07, 2008
How superficial of me, but note the colors of the Family Obama on the night of the acceptance speech.
My first thought was - hmmm, red and black, the colors of Marxist/Leninist rebels everywhere, hmmm.
My second thought was - EGADS, Michelle's dress looks like the hourglass on the belly of a black widow spider. Again, hmmm...
Posted by Kate-A at 12:23 PM
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Those were words I heard as a child, usually connected to wanting something unaffordable or frivolous. As a child I put the threat of ending up in the poorhouse or on the poor farm in the same category of parental wisdom as "you'll put your eye out" - some vague scary possibility but not likely because I was "different" or too smart.
Being an amateur genealogist I have found in my searches that the history of poorhouses and fear of ending in a poorhouse was not quite the house of horrors I once believed. Yes there were abuses, just as there is today in public and private institutions. The quality of poorhouse care reflected the values and mores of the surrounding community. I'm quite certain the institutional abuses today outnumber those of the past simply because today there is less oversight and little community involvement, other than a faceless hierarchy of government paid administrators.
However, the main reason for the parental admonishment of ending in the poorhouse was the dread and fear of shame. Fear and shame were motivational, to protect family honor, to care for one's own, etc. that sort of thing - unlike today where we are taught we all so extraordinary we should never feel shame or the threat of shame, and we have the corrupting programs and social experts to prove no one should experience negative feelings such as shame - of course that belief interferes with feeling anything but that's another post.
The last poorhouse/farm in my area was officially closed in the 1950s. County records and census usually offer a good deal of information on the inhabitants and workings of the poorhouse/farm, or alms house. States had "poor laws" that charged each county with providing care to local inhabitants who could not do for themselves and/or had no family legally bound to provide for them. Most states considered legally bound kindred as parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, wife, husband, or child. Imagine that, being obligated to provide food, shelter, and care for family members.
Superintendents were appointed to run the poor house/farm and assign workloads to "inmates," thus the farms were self-sustained. All residents who were capable were expected to work. I suppose if "progressives" approved of such places they would have been described as self-sustainable green communities.
In the above linked piece the writer states that "vast land resources" along with commerce and industry offered "most people a chance to obtain a livelihood" and avoid the poorhouse. That suggests to me the perception is the US no longer offers much chance at obtaining a livelihood. I guess Tito the Builder and Joe the Plumber haven't heard the chances of a livelihood ended a century ago. (Fact is, US workers sat on their fat behinds watching industry leave the country, busted up their own unions, and welcomed cheap labor competition over the border.)
Even if the US still had the "vast land resources," most of today's pioneers would be unable to puff and waddle across the plains and work sunup to sundown to maintain their livelihood. And I guess most American couch potatoes are looking toward China/India waving bye-bye and awaiting high paid job offers from the areas of commerce and industry.
Petty criminals were sometimes poorhouse inmates to work off fines. Some residents were the functioning but mentally handicapped/retarded. Some were widowed or abandoned women with children. Some were families left homeless by fire, some were elderly and ill with no one and no place to live out their final days (today called nursing homes).
Some were long-term residents, others brief. The farms held both black and white inmates, or paupers as most States referred to them. And from what I have uncovered locally there appears to have been less segregation on the county poor farm than anywhere else during this era. Poverty can be an equalizer.
There were fines and penalties on poorhouse superintendents who kept anyone who had been restored to health and able to provide for themselves, unlike today where caseload is job security. County hospitals and physicians were expected to donate a reasonable amount of time and care to poorhouse residents. Local undertakers and churches helped with burial of those who died but the bulk of financial support came from county taxation - a good reason for locals to ensure their communities were as prosperous as possible for all.
Poor houses/county farms are gone, replaced with Federal programs. We no longer have "paupers" but have people who are eligible for a host of State and Federal programs, and today so many are in need of something. There is no longer stigma attached to living on the dole - in fact, it's become a career for many. Needy has become okay, with a check, apply now. Charity has become a big business racket for founders and recipients.
You are no longer a burden your family will labor to love - your needs are now household income from Big Government. You are no longer incompetent, retarded or disabled, or plain lazy - you are underprivileged or somehow challenged, with limitations that your family and community will not and cannot deal with - but Big Government can. You are no longer a family throwaway - but a family member bringing in a check. You are no longer a pauper, alone in the world - you're one of many just waiting for someone to give you that thing called opportunity.
You have been convinced that Big Government will and should take care of Little You. You really no longer need family and neighbors (unless there's a mutually lucrative government grant or program available). You can even manufacture your own monthly check myalgias and BigPharma will manufacture treatment covered by BigInsurance which BigFoundations will research and BigCelebrities will fundraise and BigGovernment will subsidize all of them.
You have been convinced you no longer live in the land of hope and opportunities - but in the land of cruel oppression and social injustice - in need of a government check to cover every ache, pain, disadvantage, disability, or mental fart you suffer - courtesy of the same cruel land that won't give you opportunity.
Clueless people, you have willingly entered the poorhouse - you've just been convinced to sit there and be proud of it. Shame on you. Sometimes some folks really do get what they deserve.
(Note: I know some less than astute readers will email me claiming I'm advocating not caring for the unfortunate among us, blaming the victim, etc. Not true. These emailers will also be the creative freeloaders who are handout careerists, who justify their own petty corruption as okay since so much of the government and so many of the wealthy are corrupt.)
Posted by Kate-A at 12:59 PM
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
As regular readers know, KAB in the past has solicited yearly for funds to keep KAB going; to keep the biting commentary and truth out there.
Well, dear readers, I believe those lean days of struggling to keep KAB afloat and getting the truth out there - those lean days will soon be over. Once Obama is elected and redistributes the wealth - KAB's bigger ship will come in.
That's right, no longer will KAB be forced to live in the cramped quarters of a 50 footer when we can have a 73 footer, or more, and we may even christen our ship when it comes in, Bamarama. (Being somewhat conservative KAB has chosen to forgo the ostentatious yachts with chopper pads.)
Posted by Kate-A at 9:07 AM
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
BIDEN: "Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America," Biden was quoted telling a fundraiser in Seattle on Sunday. "Remember I said it standing here, if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."
---- Only thing is ... Obama is no JFK and the "tester" will not be Nikita K.
The testing ground will be over Israel, and unlike the USSR, the testers today are willing, even eager, to go up in flames.
Grab your duct tape and plastic and get ready for the big one.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:32 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The city of Detroit has the highest repossession rate for a major city in the US, with real-estate owned (REO) homes—that is, homes repossessed by banks or mortgage holders—at 3.7 percent in 2007. Cleveland, Ohio came in a close second with a 3 percent REO rate.
The social reality behind these figures is illustrated by a recent sale of a foreclosed home in Detroit. In September, a modest two-story single-family home on Detroit’s east side near the Detroit City Airport sold for one dollar. Less than two years ago, in November 2006, the same home sold for $65,000.
The one-dollar sale of the Detroit house even made the Sunday Times of London, which recently ran a piece titled “America’s Darkest Fear: to end up like Detroit.”
Toshiana noted the absence of the most basic services in the city of Detroit. “We don’t even have a grocery store anymore.”
She continued, “You actually have to go back to the early ’90s to see when all this started to happen. I could tell you a couple blocks I lived on in Detroit that I watched gradually torn down. They were really nice when I was there, but what happened? One place, I came back five years after I had moved, just to visit. I could not believe what had happened. The place was a mess; the houses were in terrible shape.
A 2006 Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) report, “The Impending Rate Shock,” singled out Detroit as one of the cities likely to experience a housing disaster.
ACORN should know: National non-profit ACORN Housing has been providing free housing counseling to low and moderate income homebuyers since 1987. We have opened HUD-certified, Fannie Mae-approved housing counseling offices across the US, helping over 50,000 families to achieve homeownership. ACORN Housing provides one-on-one mortgage loan counseling, first-time homebuyer classes, and helps clients obtain affordable mortgages through our unique lending partnerships.
----- The biggest problem for cities and towns like Detroit and Cleveland goes beyond the loss of jobs and bad loans. Detroit is a fine example of almost 40 years of government social programs helped along by NGO's. Detroit is a good example of what government and/or "program" dependency does to people.
I have known a dozen former homeowners locally who when they receive a few thousand dollars in tax refunds each year would not put it aside for mortgage payments, not spend a dime on upkeep, preferring instead to buy plasma screens, down payment on a new car to be repo-ed in 6 months, a trip to the river casinos, expensive clothes, and paying off some of the predatory payday loan places they cannot seem to avoid.
I remember when parents got up and made breakfast for their kids. I remember when parents packed school lunches. I remember when couples saved to buy a home and would go without a color TV if that's what it took to make the mortgage payments. I remember when gambling was penny-ante poker for my uncles around the kitchen table. I remember when to borrow between paychecks was something a self-respecting person would not do. Back in the "old days" when Big Daddy was an aging relative and not the Government.
You can blame the government, the liberals, the conservatives, the war, or globalization or some conspiracy of reptilians - but the basic problem is the US is going on it's third generation of a large class of people who believe the "good life" should be free and provided by the government, because for much of their lives it's been easy come/easy go. And that is exactly why so many are missing out on the good life - they're waiting for someone or something to provide it to them.
Americans may have wants, dreams, needs, but they have no pride - that's the social reality.
(BTW - note that Detroit/MI is heavily democratic/progressive as is long-time Cleveland congressman Kucinich. What does that tell you?)
Posted by Kate-A at 11:13 AM
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Sunday that he will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama, citing the Democrat's "ability to inspire" and the "inclusive nature of his campaign. He has both style and substance. I think he is a transformational figure," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Powell, the man who over the years has covered for 2 Bushes and 2 wars, plans to vote Democrat.
Mainstream media is pushing Obama as "the one" just as easily as they pushed GW back in 2000 as the one - who would bring change. We saw where George W as "that one" has taken us.
The next one, apparently Obama, will finish the national transformation, comrade.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:48 AM
Monday, October 06, 2008
Yet another article on the decline and fall of the American empire.
Now, basically I agree with much of what this author says. I.e.: "People of real quality not only do not gravitate toward political leadership... The sooner this country gives up its dreams of world-bestriding dominance ... the better off we will be."
But - here's an issue I have with the constant drumbeat of and for the collapse of empire. Who will take its place? Do folks honestly believe, once they have finished voicing the hope for a better America to rise from the ashes of its demise, that the world will live as one, in perfect harmony with liberty and justice for all?
They seem pretty sure that China, Russia, EU, or XYZ will not step up to wear the robe of empire. When has the world not had a ruling power/empire? Do you really think the fall of American Empire will be replaced with a more benign or benevolent one?
Face it people - you will live under the rule of some Power Unit whether you like it or not. The question is - who's empire?
Articles such as Evidence of Decline are a dime a dozen and such prattle has been around at least since my great grandparents and grandparents time. Writers then too swore the self-indulgence, decadence, adventurism, and political corruption of the 1890s gilded age, the roaring '20s, and/or the free love '60s, were evidence of impending and imminent decline and doom. Ending each of those eras was a depression with periods of civil unrest/violence, and wars, with more power handed to the Government - under the misguided notion that Government would fulfill the promise of heaven - where billions will live in idyllic peace. Playing harps around the campfire?
And, many of my ancestors, being followers of the Good Book, believed such eras were prophetic proof of Revelations and Jesus returning to reign with 1000 years of peace after a lot of fire and brim, or something like that. Weird weather patterns and other events of nature were also omens of the second coming of the Lord who would straighten us all out.
I sometimes find it a bit humorous that many of today's non-religious "progressives" also believe in prophetic collapses and some "power" bringing a reign of world peace and justice - they just think man as lord will do it and not some guy in the sky.
Let the fall begin, so world leaders can convene, probably in Brussels or Vienna, and look down upon the milling billions to reward or punish our behavior, decrees issued without bias of course and as usual based on utility and productivity of we pissants.
At least the author above managed to get through another sky-is-falling but it's-good-for-us article without injecting the term "neocons." Although I wouldn't be surprised if in the future those NeoOne World Peacekeepers are telling our great grandchildren they are not eligible for some Utopian benefit because of global reconstruction - and they will refer the blame back to something as equally and sphincterally abstract such as the policies of those former marauding "neocons" or "neoliberals."
Posted by Kate-A at 9:47 AM
Sunday, October 05, 2008
The latest bailout. I remember in the '80s the S&L bailout, $500 billion was the quoted taxpayer price tag on that one, which was also supposed to somehow save we the people and the economy so we would live long and prosper.
Yet here we are again.
My parents, grandparents and great grandparents survived the Great Depression and thus so will we if one comes. They too had to cough up x-illions to repay x-illions of borrowed dollars - but nothing like today.
During the Great Depression banks, stores, and factories closed. Subsequent laws in 1932 gave the Government more power than it has ever had - supposedly to ease the depression.
Each and every subsequent "crises" has given more power to the government. Geeze, Bubba, a conspiracist might think these crisis are planned and/or manipulated.
It is said during the Great Depression that 225,000 people roamed the country looking for work, food, shelter. For many others times were lean but little different than the frugal lives they were living before, and for others not much was different - colleges still turned out graduates, Hollywood still made movies and people still paid to see them, most folks still managed to pay their debts. People still made fortunes, had families, built homes, opened small businesses.
Americans do not have the same outlook today as my parents and grandparents. As my grandfather once said of the Great Depression: "By the time the government came to help - most everyone had helped themselves."
Some made bread.
My grandfather told a story from the depression of him and gramma and 2 other adult family members and their dozen or so young children who all shared a 2-story farmhouse during the worst years of the depression. Economically it may have been some of the worst of times but the stories of family unity sound far better than today's spoiled and isolated "modern" households.
My folks were the kings and queens of recycling long before it was trendy and green - from cooking grease to Christmas wrapping, button bags, rag bags, mason jars, clothing and shoes, everything handed down and down and down. Did you know cowpies and/or corncobs can be used for fuel? Old bedsheets and towels for diapers. Rabbit and squirrel feasts. My mom was a genius who turned water, flour, and meat grease into gravy. The men could outsmart a bear over a tree with honey and the women could snap a snake's head in the blackberry briar.
The men and women took work when and where they found it, they gardened, canned, bartered. They did without. They "went on diets" so the kids could always eat. They grew corn that fattened the chicken and geese; they ate chicken feet and chicken necks and sold the rest of the chicken, and feather pillows, to the "rich" people in town.
And yes on occasion they engaged in ... a little slightly ... ahem ... uh ... illegal activity. Aunt Kezzie's loaves of bread were famous in the county but not as sought after as uncle Oscar's homemade hooch. Oscar and Kezzie would argue over yeast - necessary in making bread and liquor.
One day the sheriff knocked at the door and 10-year-old Chester answered to a burly big-bellied uniform who drawled "Ya daddy here boy?" Chester: "Yassuh, he upstairs makin' bread." I can still hear my parents and grandparents laughing about that one.
It was not Roosevelt's programs or government handouts to the people that ended the Great Depression - it was WWII. Although many expert economists will argue it isn't so. But those empty factories were restarted and geared up for total war, hello Rosie Riveter. After WWII the 1950s boom lifted nearly everyone's boat as the conqueror had marched home with investments. Home ownership, cars, road trips to Yellowstone and Grand Canyon, and 2 chickens in every pot. Business was booming. The rise of the largest middle class the world has ever known was during the 1950s - short-lived, but live it did, churning out college grads who came from sharecropper parents, and suburbs and shopping centers spreading and sprawling within reach of daddy's Rambler stationwagon.
Don't be silly - the '50s were the age of peace and prosperity - not the Clinton era.
Whether you support the bailout or not - just remember that with each "new deal" in a crisis the little people are given a few pennies more in the soup stamp line, maybe a new coat of paint on substandard affordable housing, and enough wages or "assistance" to keep the cable propaganda on - along with all the crime and entertainment you can stomach watching.
If you cannot see the price tag for the new century American way of life - you're reading the wrong blog.
I'm still amused by "progressives" who rant the longest and loudest about US government's failures, but damned if they aren't the first in line expecting that very same government to "help us/save us." Is that a head-scratcher or what? Why would anyone in their right mind expect rescue from a government they believe is evil, corrupt, murdering, incompetent, failing?
It appears Bubba that America has become a nation of WWW - weak, waddling, whiners - waiting for the day when Government will make sure everyone has the same, is the same. But it will not be called conformity, no no no Bub - something like equal economic rights will do - as the majority will stand equal hours of time in the government help line. Where's my free goody basket and pass the paperwork for more gimme please. What a bore of a life that must be.
The spirit and independence of my parents and grandparents generations is nearly dead. RIP.
Regardless what the rich or poor are squealing for - may all the luck be with those brave souls who still believe work, sacrifice, and patience is the road to take - it's certainly less traveled these days.
(Oh, the sheriff only wanted to buy a jar of uncle Oscar's liquor, no arrests were made.)
Posted by Kate-A at 9:29 PM
A few marbles I believe.
I just heard, former congresswoman and presidential runner, Cynthia McKinney claims that during Katrina 5000 prisoners were murdered by one shot to the head and their bodies disposed of in the Louisiana swamps. The mother of a NG who was charged by DoD to dispose of the bodies told his mother who told McKinney.
I believe in government cover-ups and criminality - but this is over the top. I've warned you about McKinney in the past, that she is not the speak-truth-to-power-icon her supporters maker her out to be. McKinney portrayed herself as a 911 truther, raising valid questions about 911, and now she begins to lower her own cred with questionable accusations of 5000 bodies tossed in a swamp, which somehow didn't attract any attention at the time.
I suspect Cynthia is well-compensated for her role in the political sideshow.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:13 AM
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Progressives are scaring themselves again.
PI picked the story up from DemocracyNow.
DemocracyNow picked it up from ArmyTimes where writers often hint of supposed-to-be-scary new government robogrunt programs are being prepared for the masses (you), but how many times do I have to tell you ArmyTimes is not affiliated with the Army, the government, or the military - but is a product of Gannett (ticker symbol GCI).
And of course DailyKos blogs the ArmyTimes story as: Army Unit To Deploy For Domestic Operations.
ArmyTimes: "The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys. Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.
... this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities."
Hmmmm. Yes, NorthCom was established in 2002 but Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) was established in 1999.
ArmyTimes hint: "They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control..."
That's right folks, when the country collapses "they" are ready for ya, lest you rise up and assault them with your diet soda and keyboards.
Posted by Kate-A at 4:09 PM
Saturday, September 20, 2008
An anonymous hacker has shared the contents of Palin's yahoo email account, which apparently revealed nothing incriminating - had there been we would be drowning in the staged outrage from the "left."
I did note progressive sites gleefully discussing the hacking with comments such as "ain't Karma a bitch" - the same folks who scream about invasion of privacy, illegal spying on citizens, government eavesdropping, etc. Lemme see if I have this right: It's godawful wrong to spy on potential Joe McVey Blow or Akhmad bin Abbar terror suspect but it's okay to read the mail of Republicans, especially their wimen folk?
When the emails revealed nothing to flog Palin with, the "progressive left" switched to claims of Palin Email Hack a Hoax by McCain Camp. A "perfect Rovian hoax."
Stop laughing, perfect rightwing hoaxing is serious business.
Politico posted an anti-Palin email from Anne Kilkenny, Wasilla resident and Democrat.
Kilkenny states: ... I am just a housewife. I don't have a job she can bump me out of. I don't belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that's life.
You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts with my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on any websites, as there are too many kooks out there ...
Lol. Of course Anne's opinion has been posted on websites far and wide. Yes, Anne, there are too many kooks out there ... so give 'em your name and email addy ... There are also disingenuous folks out there who think an "about Sarah Palin" email will not be posted "on any websites." Annie, you courageous thing, is that your own horn I hear blowing loud and clear?
Posted by Kate-A at 9:10 AM
Thursday, September 18, 2008
RFK Jr. on HuffPo commenting on Westbrook Pegler: Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist who Sarah Palin approvingly quoted in her acceptance speech for the moral superiority of small town values, expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that "some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies."
WallStreetJournal: It tells us something about Sarah Palin's homage to small-town America, delivered to an enthusiastic GOP convention last week, that she chose to fire it up with an unsourced quotation from the all-time champion of fake populism, the belligerent right-wing columnist Westbrook Pegler.
TPM comments: It appears that during her convention speech, Sarah Palin quoted an anonymous writer who, it turns out, once lamented that Franklin D. Roosevelt's would-be assassin hit the wrong man.
Frank Rich, NYT columnist, also called national attention to the grievous Palin pegler-lover.
Palin said: "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity" attributing it to a writer but without naming Westbrook Pegler. (Her speech writer may have known the source but doubtful Palin did.)
So there you have it folks - Sarah is a flaming racist/bigot because she has used a 14 word sentence once uttered by the notorious and politically incorrect Pulitzer winning journalist for an exposé on corrupt Chicago union bosses, a rightwing Hearst newspaper columnist - Westbrook Pegler.
How much more proof do you need that McCain/Palin will order all not-white-enough folks into those concentration camps that Halliburton built?
Reading just the tidbits from the above mentioned sites you would have the impression Pegler was a racist, Jew hating, lynch mob supporter, anti-labor, fascist, Nazi lover, avowed racist, and an all round miserable, despicable soul.
Pegler was an anti-communist Catholic married to a Jewish woman who was also a journalist, Julia Harpman. He often wrote columns pretending to be someone else, i.e. to be Jimmy Hoffa in a column attacking RFK - which is probably where RFK Jr. got his quote. I can't believe I'm reading and thinking Jonah Goldberg makes more sense these days.
Pegler was also a critic of the FBI and DOJ.
Amazing at the press freedom on a national basis in that era. I suppose the distasteful Pegler would be the Coulter or Limbaugh of his day.
The lynching story is a 1936 column Pegler wrote in support of a mob who lynched 2 (white) men in California charged with murder and kidnapping.
I note Kos Diarist and other wannabe famous crud bloggers are omitting the word "white" when posting the lynch mob story. We know why that is, don't we? And it's an insult to the intellect because I know a sorry ass attempt at propaganda and half-truths when I see it. My knee is not jerking.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:58 AM
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Have I mentioned the military-academic complex?
In 2002, an Association of American Universities report noted that nearly 350 colleges and universities were conducting research under funding by the Department of Defense, and that universities were receiving more than 60 percent of defense basic research funding.
Since 1802, when Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing the United States Military Academy, America has been formally melding higher education and the art of warfare. The second is the militarized civilian university--since World War II and the emergence of the national security state, civilian educational institutions have increasingly become engaged in the pursuit of enhanced war-making abilities.
DePaul College of Law professor Barry Kellman received a $30,000 grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for his part in something called a Bio-Security Matrix Feasibility Assessment. When asked for the practical application of this typically cryptic project, it was explained that the assessment aimed to "weave together a matrix of the many international organizations that have partial responsibility for preventing bioterrorism."
---- Quite a web to weave ... Amounts for 2007 here. So go ahead and protest those recruiting offices on campus, just don't bother the dean about DoD funds, which could range as much as $42,000,000 (Duke U) in a fiscal year.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:37 PM
Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk. Comicbook marvels.
And now, Tim Wise - White Privilege, White Entitlement and the 2008 Election. Ta-da. Fluff writing white bro passing for serious shit.
A list written by Tim Wise, for those who "still can't grasp the concept of white privilege." Is that white condescension trying to masquerade as goodness or what?
TIM: White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay."
KAB: It will be "white privilege" when Bristol is pregnant with baby #4 with no daddies around and selling food funds from her EBT card for 50 cents on the dollar so she can get her hair and nails done for Saturday night clubbing, and defenders claim she is not irresponsible - she just cannot escape her circumstances because "the man" keeps her down.
TIM: White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.
KAB: It would be "white privilege" if Palin got away with admitting she spent part of her education living in a pot haze and a "little blow when it was affordable" and could get a lucrative autobiographical book deal while still a relative nobody and schmucking around with the Chicago political machine. It would be "white privilege" if Palin was head of a law review and law professor who left almost no paper trail of legal thought but was labeled a gifted legal eagle anyway.
TIM: White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."
KAB: It would be privilege when your tenure as state Senator is not examined closely, when you mistakenly vote the wrong way on issues - oops. And people wouldn't piss on themselves laughing because registering community voters for the machine behind you is a really hard test for a Harvard scholar who wrote all of 1 paper for HLR.
TIM: White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office - since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s - while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.
KAB: No, it would be "white privilege" if Palin sat for 20 years in a church dancing to the tune of God Damns America because of Rich Black Folk and she can get away with calling it White Liberation Theology.
TIM: White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.
KAB: No, white privilege would be if Palin had knowingly for years wined, dined, socialized, and conducted business with a corrupt political machine and its slum lords, but it is okay because her defenders swear those ties were innocent, and not be bashed for being naive.
TIM: White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it, a "light" burden.
KAB: No, it would be white privilege if folks believed that being tailed in a department store or being pulled over for driving while black is equally horrendous to 5-1/2 years in a POW camp.
TIM: White privilege is, in short, the problem.
KAB: No, the problem, in short, are self-appointed "leaders" who have made careers from hustling whitey. Or as Booker T. Washington called them - those "problem profiteers."
Posted by Kate-A at 11:09 AM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Listening to back to back spiels earlier today from both Obama and McCain on the latest economic "crisis" and reading a few liberal bloggers comment on the why and how of it all - it's obvious most of the public depend on their favorite icons to tell them what to think and who to blame.
For instance, some folks were connecting McCain and the Keating Five to the current banking mess. Huh? Do people really believe they can lay the blame on any and all members of the opposition? Are these folks 18y/o, on their first job and new to grown-up life?
Economies always go through boom and bust cycles, a-l-w-a-y-s. Some cycles worse than others. Today's economic atmosphere is similar to the 1970s and '80s - although not as bad, yet. That's right, not as bad, yet. The misery index for 1980 was 22%, today it is 11.3 and climbing.
If you want to blame particulars for today's crisis you could go back a few years. To the Carter reign when money lending change began. Back to the DIDMCA (Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980) cosponsored by democrat senator William Proxmire and signed into law by Jimmah Carter. Jimmah said, "As you know, under existing law, which this bill will change, our banks and savings institutions are hampered by a wide range of outdated, unfair, and unworkable regulations." That's right - money changers were hampered, dammit.
The "crisis" was banking/lending and real estate back then too. (Why do we never have a crisis that would be good for us - say a crash of the fast food industry, the fall of BigPharma drugging grampa's erectile dysfunction and little Johnny's ADHD industry, or an utter and complete collapse of the entertainment industry?)
Then there was the "Tax Reform Act of 1986" also known as the Bradley-Gephardt bill, Bill Bradley and Dick Gephardt, both Democrats. Touted as fair and sensible tax reform - it was to close tax shelter loopholes and reduce taxes. It was the era of yuppyism and beemers and mergers. Garn-St. Germain didn't help things either.
The "pay-off" for these bipartisan works and dozens of other monetary bills and acts, was to benefit everyone, even if the US ruling class had to outsource and offshore every job not nailed to the floor, and give Joe Average more "service" work (flipping burgers and wiping butts for minimum wage). And wouldn't ya know it, at the same time we had to import illegal workers to do the jobs Americans would not do - you know, like construction, landscaping, farming, housekeeping, nanny work .... and taxes rose on the lower classes from 11% to 15% - oops.
Meanwhile back at the White's House ,Clinton was signing Nafta and shafta. Clinton continued the Reaganista dreams, as overseer of central-bank autonomy, deregulated markets, liberalized capital flows, free trade, and privatization. Not to mention spending your tax dollars to bailout other economies such as Russia, Japan, Mexico, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Most bailouts were under the auspice of the IMF but the US holds a lot of "quota" and voting power for who does and does not get loans.
The IMF, along with World Bank, are dirty words in "progressive" circles, although most followers carrying those "down with IMF/WB" signs are quite clueless as to how the world works. Sometimes I wonder why all the hue and cry because The World Bank is pledged to the UN-backed Millennium Development Goals, to reduce poverty - a goal and organization which progressives claim to support and look to for UN approval.
Critics of IMF/WB argue that loans and long-term agreements lock countries into aid dependency. Shusssssh - kind of like the locked in welfare dependency here in the 'hood. And the World Bank was good enough for Obama's flowerchild mama to work as a consultant for .... so by golly it should be good enough for today's progressives.
It is the developing world and giants such as India and China who want more IMF/WB powers. So while progressive anti-globalization icons are shouting down with IMF/WB their goal is not to end globalization but to make it better globalization. With them in charge of doling out the money - just changing the faces of the money changers.
Pinkster Medea Benjamin calls IMF/WB and WTO the "unholy trinity." In this interview she preaches the usual sermon about putting more money into public programs, otherwise known as the war on poverty, which we know is a failure, and by the way all the "humanitarian aid" from do-gooders has killed more people in Africa than the US military ever will.
The trendy election cycle mantra for grassrooters is mo' money for infrastructure and healthcare. Infrastructure - what does that mean to Joe Average? Roads, schools, hospitals? Don't ask me why healthcare and infrastructure were not hotly targeted for "change" when the Clintons, the democrats, and progressives were living in the White House for 8 years.
National Priorities has an interesting interactive chart. Pull down the State and city and see how much the median income family spends on defense, education, health, etc. Not mentioned is how much tax refund the median income family receives, if any. The top 4 costs on locations I checked were the military, health, payment on national debt, and anti-poverty programs, in that order. Education and social services held the 5th spot.
You can also select and see what the trade-offs would be. For instance, if the State of California used the FY 2009 tax cut for the richest 10% for housing instead - they could provide 44,000 affordable housing units. Who will pay shady contractors for rehabbing the units every couple of years is any one's guess. Nor is there any description of the size or type of units this trade-off would provide or how many years would pass before taxpayers get to fund gentrification of the area. See Cabrini Green and Obama. "Affordable housing" is feel-good code for da projects and/or other shoddy government housing.
The costs of the military, health/education, welfare, have remained pretty constant the past 15 years, at least according to this chart.
But be afraid, very afraid - because fear and blame are all that motivates the public to vote every 4 years.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:00 PM
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
CREW's report. (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington).
The 20 most corrupt members of Congress:
* Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
* Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
* Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-CA)
* Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)
* Rep. Vito J. Fossella (R-NY)
* Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-LA)
* Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
* Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
* Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
* Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
* Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-CA)
* Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)
* Rep. Timothy F. Murphy (R-PA)
* Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA)
* Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)
* Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
* Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
* Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY)
* Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
* Rep. Don Young (R-AK)
* Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
* Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN)
* Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
* Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH)
Posted by Kate-A at 7:22 PM
Charles Pena at Antiwar writes What $700 Billion?: In accepting the nomination as the Republican candidate for U.S. president, Sen. John McCain proclaimed that if elected, "We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much." One can't help but wonder what $700 billion the good senator is talking about. ... Apparently, the $700 billion is money we're spending for energy, presumably foreign oil."
---- Now, presumably Mr. Pena is an educated fellow from Cato and various and sundry other institutions, agencies, and programs to his credibility, and not to defend John McCodger's stump, but "energy" includes more than just "foreign oil." Maybe Pena used his Simple Sheople template?
I looked in at Factcheck to see their take on McCain's 700 billion. I read Factcheck with a grain or two of salt as they are funded by the Annenberg Foundation which Obama and Ayers served, and regardless how nonpartisan an organization claims to be they still have to look to the hand that feeds them. I don't give them a lot of credibility because there does not seem to be much fact checking on issues that mean anything - they appear to pick their nits from the leading icons of the political blogosphere. Besides, we all know stats and information can be juggled to suit the desired conclusion.
FC says: In fact, the U.S. doesn't pay nearly that much for oil from hostile nations. According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. imported 4.9 billion barrels of oil in 2007. At today’s prices, that works out to about $536 billion, still a hefty chunk of change, but considerably less than $700 billion. More important, that's what we pay to all exporting nations, not just those that “don’t like us very much.” We note that 32 percent of U.S. oil imports came from Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
Hmmm, I always have a problem with folks who begin their declarations with "In fact." It's usually a signal that bullshit is on the way.
McCain doesn't specifically state the 700 figure is for oil alone. And that was not my first impression, and it did not sound outrageously over stated to my ear. Nor did he claim that amount is sent to "hostile nations" but to countries which "don't like us very much" (the whole world doesn't like us if you believe "progressives").
Not only oil, but the US imports large reserves of natural gas from countries like Qatar, Iran, Russia, Angola, Yemen, Algeria, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago. EIA import volumes for gas by country. Multinationals have already rushed to build facilities to import more.
We also import small amounts of coal from Indonesia and Venezuela. (Last time I looked Hugo didn't like us very much.) The US imports fuel ethanol from Brazil, Costa Rica, and China. Nuclear fuel is also imported, mainly from the Netherlands and Russia. Russia not our best friend anymore either. In 2007, America spent $5.5 billion to buy nuclear fuels and related materials from other supplying countries – a 39% gain from last year and a 91.3% rise since 2003.
Due to that pesky thing called "global trade" and trade with countries that don't like us very much, the US also imports materials for extraction, delivery, storage, processing, and producing the above energy, i.e. metal alloys, titanium, zirconium, polymers, glass, plastics, ceramics, steel, rubber, etc. etc. and the costs of economic, military, and humanitarian aid to countries that don't like us very much but like the US$. (Plus the war to keep Iraqi oil safe for Royal Dutch.)
In fact, winkywink, there is a lot more to energy costs than just the price on a barrel of oil.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:26 PM
Obama put lipstick on a pig in Lebanon, Virginia.
Of course Barack knew his audience would associate the remark with Palin - the audience response is evidence of that. Of course Obama knew lipstick/pig is a common phrase, which would give him plausible denial when the McCain camp jumped on the comment, which of course he knew they would.
What irritates me more with this clip is Obama's lapsing into his street cred pose - the enunciation of policy as "paw-luh-cee" and worse each time he says it, and the slight slouch and bounce in his posture - but maybe that's how folks in Virginia like their deliverance.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:15 AM
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
The Democratic Promise: Saul Alinsky and His Legacy - Documentary blurp: "Alinsky's hard-nosed politics were shaped by the rough and tumble world of late 1930's Chicago. Back then, the city, still in the grips of the Great Depression, was controlled by the Kelly-Nash political machine and by Frank Nitti - heir to Al Capone's Mafia empire. In 1938, with a freshly minted graduate degree in criminology from University of Chicago, Alinsky went to work for sociologist Clifford Shaw at the Institute for Juvenile Research. He was assigned to research the causes of juvenile delinquency in Chicago's tough "Back-of-the-Yards" neighborhood. In order to study gang behavior from the inside, Alinsky ingratiated himself with Al Capone's crowd, and came to realize that criminal behavior was a symptom of poverty and powerlessness."
Another blurp: Famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass wrote, "Power concedes nothing without demand." THE DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: SAUL ALINSKY AND HIS LEGACY is the story of ordinary people making demands for the power to govern their own lives. Narrated by Alec Baldwin, the documentary examines both the history of community organizing - through the work of Saul Alinsky - as well as the current state of community organizing, as shown by contemporary organizations in New York and Texas.
How can ya not win over the hearts and minds of disempowered folks when using the names of Douglass, Baldwin, and Capone. A Black icon, a Hollywood beefcake, and a member of the romanticized Mafioso. Who better to learn community organizing from than an international street gang? Badabing.
Note I use the word disempowered meaning you have been deprived of power/authority, but the "Left" prefers "disenfranchised," meaning you have been deprived of some privilege. The Left/progressives do like the term "empowerment," particularly the women's movement, meaning "official authority" usually to act on someones behalf. The World Bank also likes to use the term "empowerment." It may be code for "here let me do that for you while I pick your pocket and screw your children."
Alinsky is considered the pioneer, the father of "community organizing." An icon of the '60s social movements and influence on many today. Hillary Clinton's senior thesis at Wellesley College was on Alinsky, There Is Only The Fight...": An Analysis of the Alinsky Model. In the '80s Alinsky disciples hired Obama as a Chicago community organizer.
When I was young and dumb Saul was an icon of mine too. His theory is to organize and select a leader to take your fight to the man ... as we can see, the "leaders" usually do quite well after they meet with "the man" but I fail to see where the little people have benefited much with Alinsky's methods.
Alinsky "came to realize that criminal behavior was a symptom of poverty and powerlessness." Hmmm, I grew up poor among other poor folks and we never considered crime an option. But that was an era of parents without societal excuses, when delinquency and thuggery were a family shame - not a ghetto badge of manhood, or a symptom of something outside mom and dad's control that could be cured with mo' money.
And how does Saul explain the rich and powerful who exhibit criminal behavior just as often as those in poverty? Explain to me how the hundreds of folks I have known in Central America, decent and generous, who would literally give you the shirt off their back, their last bowl of soup, living in the worst poverty, and live so without criminal behavior.
This docudrama "is the story of ordinary people making demands for the power to govern their own lives." Alinsky may have improved the lives of some in his era - but it has since become that making demands translates to electing community leaders to squeeze more funds from BigDaddy Government and in exchange, Government Authority will run your dependent little life for you. If you cannot squeeze enough to meet your demands and you choose crime - then you can say "the government made me do it."
We have transformed into a nation of ordinary thugs and thieves, from top to bottom, with too many folks looking for a way to extort ("get over on") someone or something, where simple day-to-day respect for others is the exception rather than the rule. We are the least self-governing society I know - preferring to be government franchised (privileged) rather than accepting authority over our lives.
Looking back I don't know if guys like Alinsky began their theories and careers with sincerity or if they were manipulating the public for their own ego and financial gain, and/or political ideology - when you get in bed with dogs like the Capone crowd you usually get up with fleas. Not to mention the US is run like an organized crime ring with most folks awaiting their allotted share from the family don.
I'm the least religious person I know, but I sometimes think of the phrase about false prophets and ye shall know them by their fruits. And looking around in the year 2008, America is in no better position with the legacy/fruits of Saul Alinsky or his disciples.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:33 AM
Monday, September 08, 2008
I'm wondering: Obama and his handlers have, more or less, portrayed Barack as the product of a single parent household, where at times his Kansas momma used food stamps; a boy with simple working class grandparents.
So who paid tuition for his private prep school in Hawaii (the school today runs about $17,000 per year)? His first 2 college years before Columbia U were at Occidental, another private Ivy type college. This website says Obama at Occidental was on a scholarship but not what type - I've read elsewhere it was an athletic scholarship. Seems to me Bubba that Barry was not the brilliant scholar until later.
How did Obama manage to fund his way through Columbia University and Harvard (his daddy's alma mater)? He claims to have "worked his way" through college but according to Factcheck Barack had 3 summer jobs during his college career - construction, deli worker, telemarketing - hardly sufficient for the Ivy League schools above. He also says student loans paid his way but his years at Columbia and Harvard were during the Reagan era when higher education loans and grants were hit hard by Ronnie and Poppy Bush. Even so, student loans are not enough to pay for an Ivy League education. Myself and other family members know what it means to "work your way through college" and it's working 12 months of the year - not just summers wrapping lunchmeat or teledialing. Even with "affirmative action" and special minority grants an Ivy league education carries a hefty price tag. And do you know how difficult it is to get into Columbia or Harvard?
Did his grandparents help? Obama has never said they contributed financially to his education. Nor has he credited his father, stepfather, or his mother; Stanley Ann seems to have spent a good deal of her life as a struggling student.
Obama's years between Columbia and Harvard (approx 1983-1988) were spent in Chicago "Black community organizing." Sometimes I read this is low paid altruistic work, other times it's nice work if you can get it. Obama's biggest claim to organizing fame was registering voters for the Chicago Democrat machine. In either case it's doubtful Obama was pinching pennies to save for Harvard law school. During his community organizing he joined Rev. Wright's Trinity church, where he apparently napped during Jeremiah's fiery tirades about whitey's America.
In an interview with Percy Sutton, an aging Harlem politician and Malcolm X lawyer, it was said that back in the 1980s Donald Warden a.k.a. Khalid al Mansour had lobbied for Saudi prince Alaweed bin Talal to fund Barry's education. But left/progressive bloggers and Obama's camp are denying this story.
I cannot find enough teeth in the story to believe it or disbelieve it. I tend to think there may be a grain of truth as Obama's connections to Tony Rezko and possibly Nadhmi Auchi have been discussed here numerous times, hence other Middle East connections would not be a stretch. Is Percy Sutton senile? Is Warden/Mansour godfather to Obama? Or is it a rightwing conspiracy theory to push Obama with radical Islam connections?
I do believe Obama is not what he appears to be and his backers are not who we are led to believe. Odd as it may sound, Obama may be politically backed by the same folks behind BushCo - but regardless who they back the goal over the past 30 years has been the destruction of the US, which they seem close to accomplishing.
Which makes me wonder why so many "progressives" want to see the collapse of their own country. What the hell do they think will replace it?
I also wonder why mainstream media has not made more noise over Obama's shady connections. Oh sure, they've mentioned Bill Ayers but he's no longer a bomb building anti-establishment type. Which makes me ask - how come so many radical felonious folks rose from the underground to become well-paid "respectable" members of the status quo? Ever wonder why so many medal tossing long haired flag burners became life-long members of the political establishment? Ever wonder why all the "social" movements in the '60s ended overnight?
Ever wonder why Obama wants to change the education system since it apparently worked so well for him, the fatherless child of a Kansas mother?
Ever wonder if almost everything you think you know is mere b.s.?
Posted by Kate-A at 1:35 PM